Monday, December 27, 2010

Why Juicing Is Losing



Strong men and strong women competitions are among the most spectacular sporting events you might ever witness - athletes performing such feats as the farmer's walk, tractor pulling, overhead press with boulders, and tire toss are all amazing displays of physical strength. Then the Olympic style weight lifters and bodybuilders who lift what seems to be impossibly heavy weights add to the aura and legend of humans with incredible power. When viewed from the sidelines, people may wonder how anyone can achieve such physical power. In truth, it takes hard work. Years and years and years of training, proper nutrition, rest and, to a certain extent, genetics. (I mentioned genetics last because all factors taken together, even if one is born with good genes, if he/she doesn't live healthy, that person will never reach his/her full potential.) Sadly, though, some people take short cuts to greatness; peer pressure, desperation for attention, desire for riches, etc. compel them to delve into the ugly world of anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroid use is big money on the black market. Since it's illegal, you would think people wouldn't want to use them. But you'd be wrong: there are people who regularly use gear (and I'm not talking about weight lifting aids such as weight belts, gloves and straps - those are just training accessories) and think nothing about the side effects. Yeah, it can boost strength and performance for a while. But at what cost?

Why Juicing Is Losing

Pay attention guys, this is what juicing is likely to do TO you:

  • shrunken testicles
  • acne
  • roid rage
  • cancer
  • infertility
  • sexual dysfunction
  • man boobs (yeah, betcha didn't expect that, huh?)
  • heart trouble
  • difficulty urinating
Hey, ladies, don't think that you've been left out. Here's what you might get:

  • deep and masculine voice
  • small breasts
  • enlarged clitoris
  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • becoming too hairy
If taken during pregnancy anabolic steroids can cause:

  • male fetus to develop feminine appearance
  • female fetus to develop masculine appearance

Wow! Who in their right mind would even want to mess with that stuff?? I'm not saying that all strength athletes, bodybuilders or weight lifters use performance enhancing drugs, because they don't. They train clean. I've been a strength trainer for four years. What I love about this sport is the constant challenge, to see how much I can do in my workout. To push through self limiting thoughts and reach the next level. That's what brings me excitement about strength training. And I don't need drugs to help me feel good, to become stronger or to look sexier. I get that from hard work. I believe that is what motivates most athletes. So for all the guys out there who are thinking of taking a short cut because you're frustrated by your lack of size and strength, I say, don't do it! Besides, if you ever hope to become a pro athlete, if you test positive for drugs, strict anti-doping regulations will cause to become barred from competition. Seriously. So yeah, you might become discouraged every now and then but don't give up. Just train harder, look at your what is holding you back and shore things up. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. When you believe in yourself and train clean, you're a winner already. So just remember this: if you want to be one of the truly elite, don't cheat.

Article Sources

Anabolic Steroids. Center for Substance Abuse Research.
Anabolic Steroid. wikipedia.

"Great Chest Workouts: Why Juicing Is Losing" Great Chest Workouts 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How To Do Weighted Chest Dips

For Intermediate and Advanced Trainers



Okay, for the past six months you've been working your butt off with push ups, peck decks and chest presses and it's all paying off. Your bench press numbers are getting better and better each week so you know that you've been performing a lot of great chest workouts. But now you want more of a challenge. The dips are becoming too easy and now you worry that your muscles are adapting since you've been doing the same routines every week. So what are you going to do about it? Jack it up a notch, that's what you're going to do. In this article, I'm going to demonstrate the weighted chest dip. If you're performing twenty or more reps per set with your unweighted chest dips and want to become even stronger, now is the time to add some weight.

How to Do Weighted Chest Dips

You'll need parallel bars, weight plates and a weight belt or a weighted vest for this exercise. I recommend that you do NOT use a weighted backpack because it will cause unnecessary strain on your shoulders. Wrap the weight belt around your waist. Most come with a long, heavy duty metal chain with a clamp on the end. Select a weight plate (e.g. a twenty-five pound plate is good for starting on this exercise). Thread the chain through the center of the weight plate. Take the other end of the chain and secure it to the clamp on the belt. Stand up straight. You need to make sure that the weight plate does not fall to the ground. It's also important to find out - right now - if this weight is too much for you. If it is, choose a lighter plate.

Step onto the platform. Stand between the dip bars. Now, while leaning forward to an angle between 15 - 30 degrees, push your body upward but make sure that you don't lock your elbows. As with the unweighted chest dips, lower yourself down until you feel a slight pull in your chest. Use as much weight as you can do safely for at least five reps. After you've finished up a set, take a short break then start again. In this demo, I added sixty pounds to increase the difficulty of the exercise.

You'll quickly realize that weighted chest dips are more difficult than the unweighted variety. This is an intermediate to advanced strength training and muscle building exercise which means you should not do them on an assisted machine. If you can't perform at least five reps of this exercise, it means that either your muscles aren't strong enough for the load (so reduce the weight you're using) or your muscles haven't had enough time to recover from other chest strengthening exercises. In this case, give your body time to rest. You've earned it.
To become stronger, we need to constantly push our bodies further and further. If we adapt then we're just doing endurance exercises. And even though endurance is a sign of fitness, if it's strength you're after, you have to keep the muscles confused. Performing a circuit of weighted chest dips, bench press, push ups, cable push downs and push press will definitely be just the shock that your system needs to help your muscles to grow. So add the weighted chest dips to your great chest workouts routine and see how well you do. You won't be disappointed.

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Weighted Chest Dips - For Intermediate and Advanced Lifters" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Do Horizontal Pull Ups

An Upper Body Exercise



By now you can tell that I'm a huge fan of body weight exercises. This time I'm going to teach you how to do simple but intense exercise that will definitely give you incredible upper body strength. And the name of this exercise is the horizontal pull up. Yeah, yet another pull up exercise you say. If you're a newcomer to this site, you're probably wondering why I'm blogging about exercises that "seem" to have absolutely nothing to do with chest workouts. But regulars know that each blog post relates to developing a great chest. So, here's the million dollar question: What is the horizontal pull up exercise good for? The horizontal pull up is important for a number of reasons because it

  • improves upper body strength
  • strengthens the back muscles
  • strengthens the biceps
  • strengthens the forearms
  • strengthens the ab muscles
And now, it's time to learn how to do them.

How To Do Horizontal Pull Ups

You'll need access to a Smith Machine or Power Rack station for this exercise and a box to place your feet upon. Get under the bar. Make sure that your palms are facing toward your body. You can use a close or wide grip, the close grip will increase the difficulty of the exercise. Now, place the heels of your feet on the box. Tighten your ab muscles. Now pull your upper body toward the bar. Then lower yourself back to starting position. Go for five sets of this exercise, with ten reps per set. Because this is a compound exercise, you can do them on back or chest day mixing them in with dips, rows, bench press, etc. You'll begin to notice a huge improvement in strength if you stick with this.

Things that you need to know if you want to become bigger and stronger.

A lot of people buy into the myth that free weights are the only way to develop chest muscles. They have no idea how important body weight exercises are to chest and upper body workouts. Accept this fact: If you want to bench press heavy weights, then you need to know that body weight exercises are crucial. And to develop a great chest you need a strong back. Which is where this exercise comes in. Pull ups are among the best exercises to give you those powerful back muscles. And with all of the other benefits of the horizontal pull up, there's absolutely no reason for you skip them.
"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Horizontal Pull Ups - An Upper Body Exercise" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How To Do The Barbell Upright Row

Upright Rows Boost Upper Body Strength



Months ago I demonstrated bent over rows because I know how effective they are as a great chest and upper body workout. Now I'm going to tell you about the barbell upright row exercise. If you want to build upper body strength and muscle you must do this exercise.

Benefits of the barbell upright row

What's so great about the barbell upright row? Easy. The barbell upright row:

  • improves your bench press
  • improves shoulder and arm
  • strengthens the back
  • increases upper body strength
That's just a short list of what this exercise can do for you. Anyone who wants to become bigger and stronger must learn the barbell upright row.

How to do the Barbell Upright Row

This exercise can be taxing on the shoulders so correct form is extremely important!!! You'll need a barbell for this exercise. There are two ways to perform the barbell upright row depending on which muscle groups you want to train the most. If you want to train the outside of your shoulders (deltoid muscles), then the wide grip is best. Target the trapezius muscle (which spans the back of the neck, shoulders and upper back) with the close grip. Safety first!! The barbell upright row can cause shoulder injury if you don't do them correctly. Make sure to practice good form during this exercise.

Grip the bar with both hands (wide or close grip). Stand up straight with your legs positioned shoulder width apart. Relax your arms, the barbell should be at or below your waist. Slowly raise the bar up. If you're working delts, inhale as you bring the bar up to parallel. Hold for a three second count, exhale then slowly lower it to starting position. Perform ten reps then rest. You should try to get in five sets of the barbell upright row for delts. If you're goal is to develop better traps, use a close grip. Stand up straight, take a breath then bring the bar up to your chin. Hold for a three second count, then lower the bar down again. Remember to exhale as you lower the bar. The close grip barbell upright row might be harder for you than the wide grip. That's okay, you're using different muscles for this one. Do ten reps per set for a total of five sets. 

Each week add weight to the bar. Eventually you'll reach a weight that will be much harder to lift. That's the point when your newbie gains come to an end. But by this time you should also notice larger, more powerful shoulder and back muscles. And you should be getting better numbers from your bench press by this time. This is natural, your central nervous system (CNS) has adapted to heavy weights, you will have longer periods which you'll be training at a particular weight. But this won't hold you back. You can and still should expect to push yourself. Add more volume and you'll continue to gain size and strength.

Well, that's all for the barbell upright row. Don't sit around dreaming about having a great body. Start working out now and you will become bigger and stronger.

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Barbell Upright Row - Upright Rows Boost Upper Body Strength" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.